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Buckeye Book Fair is a great story

Bob Kraieder from Sullivan, OH with shopping list in hand, waits while Will Hillenbrand’s signs a few of his books that Kraieder purchased for Christmas presents.

Patricia Faulhaber

For any area book lover, the Buckeye Book Fair is a must attend annual event. The 25th Buckeye Book Fair was held at Fisher Auditorium on the OARDC Campus on Nov. 3 and once again brought great authors and avid readers together for a day of book talk.

Close to 100 Ohio authors were available for book signings. Talk of story lines and accolades for the writings and creators were the focus of most conversations. Julia Wiesenberg, director of the event, said that a couple of thousand people go through each year.

“We have a few Wooster authors here today including Erwin Riedner, Harry McClarran and Joanne Frye,” Wiesenberg said.

“There are also the favorites such as Joe Tait and Will Hillenbrand among others. The proceeds from the event every year go to benefit literacy through grants. My favorite part of the event is to see so many book lovers here, especially in the digital age,” she said.

Many shoppers were there picking out Christmas gifts, some were there to see their favorite authors and others were just getting their first acclamation to books and reading. Luke Rinnert who is 8 months old was visiting the book fair for the first time with his grandmother Jennie Rinnert.

“Luke loves to be read to and he likes to grab the books and look at them and we hope he’s going to be a future avid reader,” Rinnert said.

Tony Cebriak from Austintown, OH is a band director and he loves the Funky Winkerbean cartoon. He took the time to stop by to tell Winkerbean creator and author, Tom Batiuk, how much the series has meant to him over the years. He also purchased a new book and got a personalized signature from the author.

“The cartoon has always had a lot of stories about band directors and I wanted to tell the author how much the cartoon has meant to me and other band directors I know and how much it has helped the music world,” Cebriak said.

Marri-Ann Vazzo from Wooster stopped to talk with Regina Brett who is the author of two books, a radio talk show host and columnist for the Plain Dealer newspaper.

“I’ve read her books and have followed her for a long time so she was the main author I came to see today,” Vazzo said.

This is Brett’s third book fair, she attended with her first book, then again for the paperback release and this year for her second book. Both books are filled with inspirational essays, stories and columns.

“This show is well organized and everyone is so vibrant and I love being around so many book lovers,” Brett said.

Bob Kraieder from Sullivan, OH had a shopping list in hand. He stopped by Will Hillenbrand’s table to do a bit of Christmas shopping for his grandsons.

“My wife is a retired teacher and we come every year with shopping lists,” Kraider said.

Edward Kuntzman, vice president and author from Pop-In-Kins, Ltd. had a big setup with books and elf dolls for the popular Christopher Pop-in-Kins elf character. The series was started in 1985 by author Flora Johnson from Atwater, OH who passed away in 2005. Her husband passed away within 3 days of her death. Their son decided to continue with the series.

“Flora Johnson started the series based on all the things she and her children had done,” Kuntzman said.

“She handmade each of the dolls and made over 10,000 before she passed away,” he said.

The long checkout lines topped off the story. Events like the Buckeye Book Fair is a testament to how many book lovers are still out there even with all of the new digital book readers finding their way into readers’ hands.




Published: November 6, 2012
New Article ID: 2012711069997